Ascending Lights scholars are paired with highly qualified staff mentors who provide students with holistic, one-on-one support, academic advising, leadership training, career coaching, and spiritual development.
In my work, I'm privileged to mentor students as they pursue their educational and career goals. I'm passionate about seeing students reach their full potential by using the gifts God has resourced them with. In my role as a husband, father, and mentor, I enjoy being with and learning from people.
B.A. Business Finance,
Grand Valley State University; M.A.T. Fuller Theological Seminary
Sam Geonetta Trihus
I love working with Ascending Lights because everyday I can invest in the education and learning of amazing students from churches across Los Angeles. These leaders are best placed to lead our churches as they bring hope and healing to their local communities for many years to come.
B.A. Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Pomona College
When I first read the mentor and tutor job description, it immediately stood out as a match for my passions and gifts. Fifteen years later, I continue to find joy in journeying with students and witnessing transformation in our lives as God develops us as leaders, students, and engaged community members.
B.A. Mathematics, Education, Hanover College; M.A. Christian Education, Asbury Theological Seminary
Joining the Ascending Lights team in 2013 as an administrative assistant and mentor has continued to shape my calling to love, influence, and empower the next generation of Christian leaders. It's a joy to walk with our scholars as they follow their vocational passions and pursue their dreams.
B.A. Anthropology, UC Riverside; M.A. Theology, Loyola Marymount University
Being an Ascending Lights mentor and tutor has allowed me to use the gifts and education that God has blessed me with to give back to my own community. This program deepens my faith through the empowerment of the next generation of Christian leaders who are working to break the cycle of poverty and violence in their own communities.
B.A. English and Theatre,
UC Riverside; M.F.A. Television, Film & Theatre, California State University Los Angeles
My husband and I founded Ascending Lights in 1992, after the Rodney King civil unrest. It felt as if I had come full circle, having previously volunteered in Spanish Harlem during the 1968 riots. Serving the marginalized during my 50 years of nursing taught me unconditional love. It's a blessing to mentor students who give of themselves to their communities.
B.S. Nursing, Duquesne University; M.A. Child Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, New York University
As a college student, I felt very much on my own in navigating the world of academics and discovering the unique contribution that God created me to make in the world. The Ascending Lights organization and network of relationships allows me to provide for students the kind of help and guidance that I would have wanted and is so desperately needed today.
B.S. Communications, University of Illinois; M.A. Communications, Wheaton College
I'm a proud Pasadena City College alumna who transferred to UCLA! My positive experience at PCC sparked a passion for increasing access to higher education for students with difficulties achieving academic success. I love empowering students to succeed in school, grow in faith, develop as confident individuals, and engage as community leaders.
A.A. Humanities, Social and Behavioral Science, Pasadena City College; B.A. Psychology, UCLA
In the for-profit world, I was privileged to be mentored by two incredible entrepreneurs, and surrounded by a team of colleagues, who always put the well-being of customers and employees first. As I grew in faith, I began to see that this operating philosophy fit the model of servant-leadership taught by Jesus. As a volunteer with Catholic Charities, I saw Jesus in the face of the poor and recognized the need to help inner-city Christian churches fight poverty and violence by transforming their youth into powerful volunteer leaders through college education and the same type of mentoring that I received. Today, I have my dream job. I have the privilege of working with the best staff I could imagine, and with Christian students and mentors who walk Christ's footsteps everyday.
B.A. Social Psychology, California Western University; E.M.B.A. Peter Drucker School of Management, Claremont, CA
I was drawn to Ascending Lights because of my desire to help others discover their God-given gifts and talents that empower them to be the best person they can be at any given moment, and at the service of others. Appreciating that our program honors the whole person, it is a joy to see students succeed academically while growing spiritually and emotionally. I am privileged to share in the life-journeys of our students. I am also inspired by the many individuals and foundations who believe in our students and empower them to reach their goals though prayerful and financial support.
B.S.W. Social Work, Salve Regina University; M.S.W. Social Work, California State University, Long Beach
Susana Anaya-Baca, M.S.W.
Graduate board member
Principal, Clifford Swan Investment Counsel
Principal, Gamut Labs
Ryan Knoll (Board Vice President)
Principal , Sussex Communications
Gary Krauss, E.M.B.A. (Board Chairman)
President, Ascending Lights Leadership Network
Marjorie Krauss, C.N.S. (Board Secretary)
Retired Clinical Nurse Specialist
Anne Lobsinger, M.S.W.
Executive Director, Ascending Lights Leadership Network
Fund Raising Consultant
Stanley Majcher, C.F.A. (Board Treasurer)
Vice President - Portfolio Manager, Hotchkis and Wiley Capital Management
Mary Powers Loftus
Financial Services Consultant, Greenwich Associates
Vice President, Sales, Mattersight Corporation
Associate Professor, Los Angeles City College
Probation Officer, County of Los Angeles
President, Wittler-Young, Inc.